Algorithms and the software/firmware that they create have taken-up no.1 importance in the list of portfolio offerings for companies, followed by electronics, IoT, hardware, manufacturing and trading. Evidence of this is the format of patents being granted currently, with the general environment of the patent being drafted around the algorithm in a majority of cases. Not long ago, patents were only granted for hardware-based inventions with its corresponding software taking lesser importance. Things have changed since.
“Some algorithms, like those that compute the Fibonacci sequences, are intuitive and may be innately embedded into our logical thinking and problem solving skills. However, for most of us, complex algorithms are best studied so we can use them as building blocks for more efficient logical problem solving in the future. ” – author of The importance of algorithms
The following are some of various deliverables that justify the power of programming code:
- To control hardware- Reduce lead time, operational costs, increase efficiency, achieve automation, device data security, ease-of-use on the field, 1-platform framework, field diagnosis, testing, standards compliance etc.
- To streamline operations & execution for non-technical abstract operational problems (ex.: audit).
- To address everyday common user problems- Ease-of-use, productivity, happiness quotient, etc. (ex.:smartphone-based).
- To predict trends- market, finance, banking, valuation etc.
- Game theory, pattern prediction etc.
An example case to control hardware:
To control hardware:
The above robot control could be accomplished using PLC controllers (shown on the left) by writing very basic movement functions dependent on time.
Engineers representing programming logic in a very simple visual form is just the start to more complex processes. One major hurdle that every engineer tends to address is how to get the most out of the PLC/chip/microcontroller.
Here is a DW report on The power of algorithms and how a forecasting model is used by logistics companies to make better algorithms. The video also gives a glimpse into moral aspects of using algorithms to predict human behavior.
Solar & automotive technology consultant
Visvesvaraya Industrial and technology museum in Bangalore, India is an amazing place. Takes you back in time to engineering marvels of the 20th century. Also more importantly one can see the connect between ideas and the inventions that came out. The layout and design of the museum is beauty enough to visit it once, even if you are not an avid science fan.
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Sometimes one tries so hard looking for inspiration. Inventors of the past have shown us the way already. Working in adverse conditions to achieve such great marvels. One really wonders what they could have achieved in this age.